Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
the rest of the beasts--that is, the three first, had passed away not by direct destroying judgments, such as consumed the little horn, as being the finally matured evil of the fourth beast. They had continued to exist but their "dominion was was taken away"; whereas the fourth beast shall cease utterly, superseded by Messiah's kingdom.
for a season . . . time--Not only the triumph of the beasts over the godly, but their very existence is limited to a definite time, and that time the exactly suitable one (compare Matthew 24:22). Probably a definite period is meant by a "season and time" (compare Daniel 7:25; Revelation 20:3). It is striking, the fourth monarchy, though Christianized for fifteen hundred years past, is not distinguished from the previous heathen monarchies, or from its own heathen portion. Nay, it is represented as the most God-opposed of all, and culminating at last in blasphemous Antichrist. The reason is: Christ's kingdom now is not of this world (John 18:36); and only at the second advent of Christ does it become an external power of the world. Hence Daniel, whose province it was to prophesy of the world powers, does not treat of Christianity until it becomes a world power, namely, at the second advent. The kingdom of God is a hidden one till Jesus comes again (Romans 8:17; Colossians 3:2-3; II Timothy 2:11-12). Rome was worldly while heathen, and remains worldly, though Christianized. So the New Testament views the present æon or age of the world as essentially heathenish, which we cannot love without forsaking Christ (Romans 12:2; I Corinthians 1:20; I Corinthians 2:6, I Corinthians 2:8; I Corinthians 3:18; I Corinthians 7:31; II Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:2; II Timothy 4:10; compare I John 2:15, I John 2:17). The object of Christianity is not so much to Christianize the present world as to save souls out of it, so as not to be condemned with the world (I Corinthians 11:32), but to rule with Him in His millennium (Matthew 5:5; Luke 12:32; Luke 22:28-30; Romans 5:17; I Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 2:26-28; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 20:4). This is to be our hope, not to reign in the present world course (I Corinthians 4:8; II Corinthians 4:18; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 13:14). There must be a "regeneration" of the world, as of the individual, a death previous to a resurrection, a destruction of the world kingdoms, before they rise anew as the kingdoms of Christ (Matthew 19:28). Even the millennium will not perfectly eradicate the world's corruption; another apostasy and judgment will follow (Revelation 20:7-15), in which the world of nature is to be destroyed and renewed, as the world of history was before the millennium (II Peter 3:8-13); then comes the perfect earth and heaven (Revelation 21:1). Thus there is an onward progress, and the Christian is waiting for the consummation (Mark 13:33-37; Luke 12:35-36, 40:46; I Thessalonians 1:9-10), as His Lord also is "expecting" (Hebrews 10:13).
Other commentary entries containing this verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:1
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